By: Andrea Dillon
Deciding to homeschool isn’t something that families take likely. There are many different choices to be made and steps to be taken. One of the most critical steps in starting to homeschool is knowing what homeschooling regulations and laws you need to follow. Ideally, you go by the state that you live in. However, it might not be that easy depending on your actual situation. What if your family is roadschooling or worldschooling? A good rule of thumb is if you have been in a state long enough to be legally required to have that state’s license plate on your vehicle, or are required to have that state’s driver’s license, then you should also follow that state’s homeschool laws.
- What if a child spends considerable time being educated at a different location in another state?
Determine where a child spends the most school hours. If those are not in their home state, then submit your notification and follow the laws in the state where they are being educated the most. The other place could be considered a satellite school of the primary homeschool location.
- What if I’m still not sure which homeschool laws to follow?
You can always file in two states if you are still unsure and want to be safe legally speaking. However, you would not get to choose to follow the more relaxed state’s homeschooling laws. Instead, you would need to follow both state’s legal requirements for homeschooling and provide each state with all their specific homeschool reporting requests.
Is Homeschooling Legal In All 50 States?
Yes! However, each state has their own homeschooling laws and requirements. With that, you must read the actual homeschool laws for your particular location.
Within the individual homeschooling requirements by state, you will also find the homeschool laws (if any) on:
- Homeschool hour requirements
- Homeschool requirements for parents
- Required subjects for homeschooling
- Homeschool graduation requirements
- Homeschool testing requirements
Homeschool Laws By State
Common Questions On The Legality Of Homeschooling
- I want to homeschool, but we are working parents. Does a parent have to be present for homeschooling?
Depending on your state’s requirements, you may be able to have another person homeschool your child. You can also have your child use an online curriculum like Time4Learning that provides all the actual homeschooling instruction while they are in the care of others.
- We homeschool but are moving to another state. What do we need to do?
First, look into the homeschool laws of the state that you are moving to and note how it differs from the way you are currently homeschooling. Contact support groups in the local area of the new home. The local homeschoolers can help you understand the homeschooling requirements, how to go about notifying the board (if needed), and various resources available in the area.
- What does this homeschool legal jargon mean?
Legal terms in homeschool laws can be hard to understand. If you are struggling with specific terms, take a look at our Homeschool Laws Glossary. This page covers most of the legal terms in a state’s homeschool law and can help you understand their meaning.
- Do we have to name our homeschool?
- Can I be investigated for legal education neglect?
Many that are against homeschooling like to spout that homeschooling is educational neglect. The best way to protect yourself from that accusation is to follow your homeschooling laws and document all learning.
- Do I have to join the Home School Legal Defense Association?
No, you can absolutely homeschool without joining. While there are many different opinions about HSLDA, if you want to join, by all means join, just know what you are entering into and what you will actually be receiving in return.
- Do I have to use a specific curriculum to homeschool legally?
Not technically. Some states require something like “instruction equivalent to the public schools” in their homeschooling requirements. To meet those needs, check these state content standards and aim to educate to these standards or above.
- Is it legal to homeschool in other countries?
Yes, many other countries allow parents to homeschool their children. The homeschool requirements can differ from region to region, however, so it is vital to read the actual homeschool laws for those particular individual locations.
Additional Homeschool Law Resources
Legal Resources Useful for Homeschoolers